John Wheeler Hopes for Listed Queensland Cup Win With My Diamantine!
Written on the 14 July 2017
This weekend's big race is the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m), normally held in Brisbane but being held on the Sunshine Coast today.
The NZ trainer John Wheeler who sent My Diamantine to trainer friend of 40 years, Brian Smith last winter, is hoping for a win in a major staying race and has had his sights set on the Listed Queensland Cup all winter for the 6yo mare.
Although this NZ bred mare has not had any luck with wins in Australia, she certainly has been competitive with 4 second placings including a nice lead-up race on the Sunshine Coast a couple of weeks ago at the 2400 metre Caloundra Cup, plus 2 x third placings this season.
Wheeler said he had no plans to send My Diamantine to the breeding barn next season.
"When I sent her to Brisbane last year, I thought if she didn't measure up she might go to Melbourne as a jumper as she did a lot of schooling over the jumps early in her career," Wheeler said.
Wheeler has won many Queensland features including three successive Group 1 Doomben Cups and a Stradbroke Handicap with his star galloper Rough Habit, and two Queensland Derbies with Rough Habit and Court Ruler.
"I've never won a Brisbane Cup and I've never had a runner in the Queensland Cup before this," he said.
Wheeler is confident My Diamantine can provide him with his first Queensland Cup.
'She's been real unlucky and should have won a few more races over there," he said.
"She was three wide when she ran ninth in the Brisbane Cup then she had a perfect run in the Tatt's Cup but couldn't get out when she finished fourth.
"Her run in the Caloundra Cup last start was also good. She got home strongly and was taking ground of the winner when she finished second to Supply And Demand."
My Diamantine is favoured well at $4.20 behind the Chris Waller favourite to win Richard of Yorke ($4.00)
Chris Waller has two well-favoured geldings in the Listed Queensland Cup. Richard of Yorke is the favourite that had his debut win in March this year at Sandown-Hillside over 2400 metres and then a win at Randwick over the same distance in the Schweppes Randwick Royale-Bm78 in April. He had since lagged a bit until a second placing last month at Randwick in the Leading The Way Stayers Cup over 3200 metres. Perhaps this long distance runner is better suited to 3200 metres after 8th place in his most recent start over 2400 metres.
Soviet Courage ($5.50) is the other hopeful in the Chris Waller stable. He's fallen a little short since November last year except for a couple of third placings and a fourth placing in his lead-up start at Rosehill over 2400 metres at the ATC Winter Cup (LR).
(Photo: John Wheeler - photo source: Racing Queensland)